How to Record HD Video on OS X from a Webcam for Free

For quite some time, I’ve been spending time and money attempting to discover a way to record HD video with a webcam on the Mac. While it seems like a simple enough request, Logitech has repeatedly taken the stance that it can’t be done. Well, they were either incompetent or dishonest. I’ve long been a fan of Logitech webcams for their overall build and image quality. I currently use the C910 for its HD capability and image clarity. Their software, on the other hand, has been a dismal departure from anything that could be even remotely considered quality.

Thankfully, CamTwist has come to the rescue with a free solution that allows you to view your webcam in a preview window and set it at a desired size. Once the window is up, all you need to do is use screen capture software (Camtasia, Screenflow, etc.) to grab the video. If you’ve ever operated under the false assumption (portrayed by certain manufacturers) that you can’t capture HD video from a webcam, this is the workaround to make it happen for you.

What makes me most upset about the whole thing is the fact that I’m only one of many Logitech customers that have spent a considerable amount of time attempting to relay possible improvements in their software that would take their current product and make it outstanding. Unfortunately, each software update appears to do nothing more than further the point that their interest isn’t in providing software capable of filling basic requirements on the part of their customers.

Honestly Logitech, if you would just remove your software from the equation altogether and provide basic drivers to your customers, the user experience would improve ten-fold. Your hardware is good, and there isn’t a single reason why it shouldn’t be counted among the best in its class. The software has, unfortunately, been anything but.

7 thoughts on “How to Record HD Video on OS X from a Webcam for Free”

  1. “… Logitech has repeatedly took the stance …”

    ‘Has took’? ‘Has taken’. ☺

    [Before someone goes off on me for nitpicking: Chris is an English geek; so i reckon that he appreciates slips being brought to his attention. (And i’m too lazy to e-mail it.)] [And yes, i’m aware of my typographical idiosyncrasies. ☺]

  2. I reckon that they’re looking at the streaming video market, and deciding that not enough people are interested in streaming live HD for it to be worth their while.

    It’s sad when a company (who’ve made a good name for themselves in past decades) choose not to do something that is well within their ability, then make implausible excuses (e.g. it’s can’t be done) to justify it.

    I’m reminded of an ATI Rage Fury Maxx [yeah idiotic name] video card (ca 2001) that i had, many years ago, that i could not use in Win2k (or any NT) because it got enumerated as two devices, and ATI were not interested in making a driver to deal with it—even to run in a crippled mode that at least allowed simple, un-‘accellerated’ 1024×768×32 framebuffer operation. They lost a customer.

  3. Just received my C910 in the mail today and was completely unaware of the issues with logitech’s software. Thank you for your informative blog post and youtube videos. I will finally be able to record in HD!

  4. Chris, excellent info that totally reflects my experience with the C910. I’m just trying it out using the Voila commercial screen capture software. I forced CamTwist to preview in 1280×720, but the preview window remains @ 320×240. I have found no way to increase the window size, so I don’t know how well the export from Voila will turn out. I will let you know, but in the meantime, do you know of any way to increase CamTwist’s preview window size?

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